- Mother holds baby most of the time, especially when baby is sleeping.
- Father (or other support system) holds and plays with baby when awake, also bathing and changing. This is their 'bonding".
- No formula allowed in the house!
- Give the baby a pumped bottle ONLY if mother is away. If mother can nurse, she should.
- Learn and try different nursing positions so mother can stay comfortable and asleep - side-lying is great! It is hard when baby is very small, but as soon as they get proper head control, it gets better.
I think it is wise for a mother and father (or whoever is the support system) to discuss the mother's wishes BEFORE the baby is born. It is alot easier to make a plan and discuss obstacles when you are not sleep deprived with a screaming baby!
A few things that friends have told me: "How long will you breastfeed Nolan?" (he was approaching about 8 months at the time). "My husband doesn't think we should breastfeed after a year." Now, why not! If you and your baby are happy and content, why does he care if you continue to breastfeed? After all, it is in the best interested of the baby. How long are you going to be on that PlayStation, Dad? I think after 15 minutes, you need to turn that thing off! (he would not like that answer very much!)
"My husband doesn't like me to sleep topless at night, so it's hard to get our baby to latch on quickly without crying and waking him up." Comments like this make me want to vomit! Again, what does he care if she sleeps without a shirt on. If he does not want the baby waking him up, Mom will need to get the baby latch on quickly and the best way to do that is to have her breasts out and ready.
I was watching the "Doctors" show one day and they had this guy in the audience stand up and ask his question, "My wife is pregnant and will be having the baby soon. What kind of water should I buy to mix the formula with - distilled, spring, etc?" OK, he is a sweet guy to be planning for the baby's arrival. But, this should not have even been a question in his mind. He should be concerned with the kind of water to give to his wife when she gets thirsty from breastfeeding their baby. And the "Doctors" on the show - oh what wonderful answers they have! (read sarcastically) They answered him about the proper water without so much as a comment like, "Well, have you considered breastfeeding your baby? After all, breast is BEST!"
My Story: With-in moments of Nolan's birth, he began to breastfeed. We were lucky not to have any problems. Lucky? Well, I like to say "Prepared". Prior to his birth, I had read up on different positions, difficulties, concerns, etc. that other mothers had. That gave me time to think about what I wanted and to be "prepared". From day one, Nolan has breastfed exclusively, and my husband has been amazing! Always ready to help me get comfortable, get me a glass of water, or pull out the sling when we are in a crowded restaurant. He has never even said "Do you just want to pump a bottle?" He knows how important nursing is. Nolan has had a bottle probably no more then 10 times in his life. Even when I pumped one to have "just in case", my husband would usually be able to hold him off until I got home. We have both sacrificed our bed for Nolan to join us, since it is just easier for Nolan and me when he wants to nurse during the night. He has taken over bathtime alot, and is especially helpful in getting Nolan settled down and ready for bed. Nolan loves his "daddy naps", and Avery usually can get him to sleep in minutes. I am a very lucky mama - my partner has always been 110% supportive!!
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book)
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solving Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America, Revised & Updated Edition